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Hurricane Dorian Intensifies; Trump Fires Westerhout; Front Lines Of Amazon Rainforest; Dorian's Erratic Path Puts Four States On Alert, Dredges Up Memories Of Hurricane Matthew; Ahead Of Dorian, Bahamas P.M. Warns Residents "To Seek Shelter Before It's Too Late"; Active Shooter Reported In West Texas Said To Be Traveling On I-20; Trump Informed On Active Shooters Situation In West Texas. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired August 31, 2019 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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RUTH BADER GINSBURG, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: And I -- and I'm on my way to being very well.
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ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: So good to hear. The 86-year-old justice had a tumor removed from her pancreas and received radiation treatment earlier this month. Justice Ginsberg, who was married for 50 years, revealed she got a request for marriage advice from J.Lo. Ginsberg says she met with pop star Jennifer Lopez and her fiance, Alex Rodriguez. And Ginsberg told them her secret to a happy marriage is it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. We are closely watching the slow march of Hurricane Dorian, its enormous size and destructive power and trying to pinpoint where it will most impact people along the East Coast of the United States.
Now, this is how residents of the Bahamas are preparing for the storm's arrival, filling up their cars, boarding up their windows, knowing that this category four hurricane could just sit on top f of them for an entire day, maybe even longer.
Let's get right to CNN's Chad Meyers in the Severe Weather Center. Chad, I know the National Hurricane Center just issued --
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes.
CABRERA: -- a fresh update on this storm, its location, its track. Let's hear it.
MYERS: They like everything they did six hours ago and everything they did 12 hours ago. No changes, truly, with this, other than the fact that as it gets closer, maybe even into some cooler air, closer to the U.S., a little bit of sheer, down five miles per hour in speed at a time. Not really all that significant. We still don't get this thing in their forecast to be a cat five. That's good. It goes to 155. A category five starts at 157. I know we're splitting hairs there, but there's something there. 150-mile- per hour storm, about 170 miles from Great Abaco, about 190 miles from where it begins to stop and then turn to the right, about 12 hours or 24 hours later. And, even as you said, could be 36 hours sitting right there over the Bahamas, doing significant destruction at 150 miles per hour.
A new tropical storm watch from Deerfield Beach, to Sebastian Inlet. That would include West Palm Beach right there. But as a tropical storm watch, conditions are possible that might be tropical storm in the next 36 hours. So, we're not in this hurricane warning like the Bahamas are right now.
It will turn to the north. So far, the models do not have it touching land, the middle of the eye. That doesn't mean the eye wall, and that doesn't mean this can't go left another 20 miles. And, all of a sudden, we do have a devastating hurricane right on shore, northern Florida, Georgia, into the Carolinas. So far, so good on the south part of the storm, for South Florida. It's still looking like it makes the turn. But waves in the ocean, Ana, could be 40 feet tall.
MYERS: I'm not going -- I'm not going on a cruise. Guarantee it.
CABRERA: No. No, I would be seasick for sure. Chad Myers, glad to hear, though, that things are looking up a little bit for the east coast. Thank you.
Let's head there to the east coast of the United States where some forecasters say the eye of Hurricane Dorian could come very close to landfall, though maybe there will be a glancing blow.
CNN's Dianne Gallagher is in Jacksonville, Florida for us. Dianne, you're on the banks of the St. Johns River, the marina empty behind you when it would usually be full?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, and it probably, out of all day, should be full today, because they're supposed to be having a much-anticipated football game between Florida State, Boise state. A lot of people who were hoping to watch Florida State here on this side of Florida. And they went ahead and moved that today to Tallahassee instead. So, this would have been full with tailgaters, people who were excited to come in, because the stadium's literally right across from me. I can see it.
We have a Florida afternoon storm coming in right now. It started raining just as Chad was speaking to you there. And this is what a lot of people in Jacksonville don't want to happen. They don't want to see rain from Dorian come in while the tides come up from any of that storm surge, because this is a city that does tend to flood when they have these storms, even if they're not making landfall in this area. So, a lot of them say, look, we're breathing a sigh of relief that we're no longer, necessarily, you know, impacted by, perhaps, a direct hit. But that doesn't mean places, like Jacksonville, aren't going to feel some kind of impact as Dorian passes. One, because it's been so slow, it's been hard to plan for, hard prepare for here.
But, two, they're just not sure what it's going to do. So, some of the schools in the surrounding area have already cancelled classes on Tuesday. Remember, this is a holiday weekend, they're not in school on Monday. Just as a precaution. And they're going ahead and looking ahead, and they're going to judge day by day, based off of that track of the storm.
[17:05:02] Now, again, we've seen people preparing a long down south in Florida. Not as much of that here in Jacksonville, but it's far away for them. So, much of that preparation will likely happen towards the beginning of the week here, as we're not expecting any, sort of, real impact until midweek next week in Jacksonville.
We're expecting the mayor to begin speaking anytime now for the latest update here in Jacksonville. But, again, for the most part, they're concerned about potential flooding and rain continuing here in the downtown area as Dorian approaches.
CABRERA: OK. Thank you very much for that report. Dianne Gallagher.
Mark McHugh joins us now from Orlando, Florida, where he's concerned about a very specific population, the animals at Gatorland. Mark, who do you have there with you?
MARK MCHUGH, CEO AND PRESIDENT, GATORLAND: Hi, Ana, thank you for having us. This is Rayford, a little baby American alligator, he's going to help us out here today.
CABEREA: OK. What's your mindset, right now, that now we know Hurricane Dorian has changed its course slightly?
MCHUGH: Well, a little sigh of relief. But we've continued with our fort -- with our hurricane preparation procedures. Got all of our animals ready for this. And we just want to be safe and make sure that we are going to clear before we start undoing all of our preparations.
CABREA: Right. You have more than 2,000 American alligators on your 110-acre property. You also have birds and bob cats to take care of I know. What kind of challenges do you face, when it comes to preparing these animals for a storm like Dorian?
MCHUGH: Well, the land-based animals, the birds, the bobcats, our panthers, deer, goats, all of our mammals, we make sure that they're in secure housing, building -- block buildings, preferably. And let them ride it out. The alligators and crocodiles, you know, it's -- it ain't their first rodeo. They've been around 75 million years. They know how to handle these storms. We leave them alone. They go in the water. Drop down to the bottom of our lakes and ponds and just ride it out. CABRERA: You leave them alone. That, to some, might sound like a
scary thought, given, you know, if there's flooding and the water rises, then the gators get out. You say that's just stuff for the movies.
MCHUGH: It does make a good movie when they get out and swim down the streets and end up in people's basements. We don't have basements here in Florida. But we have a team of very experienced people that spend all night or all day if a hurricane does hit. They stay right here in this room that I'm in. We bring the bobcats in with them. They'll sit and wait.
And whenever the storm passes and the winds die down, first thing they do is they circle all of our exhibits in the perimeter and make sure we haven't had a breach of contact. That's your biggest worry. And the zoological operation is that a tree will fall on a fence and that's a potential escape area for an animal. So, we make that round as soon as we can, check out and make sure we haven't had a breach of containment and all of our animals are safe.
CABRERA: And, given you have experienced past hurricanes, like Charlie and Irma, what is your biggest concern. Is it the wind? Is it the rain? Is it the surge? What are you watching for?
MCHUGH: Well, the surge doesn't usually reach as far in -- I've never seen it reach all the way into Orlando. That's not our worry.
CABRERA: That makes sense.
MCHUGH: Heavy -- right. Heavy rains is a significant worry. We will actually pull down the water level in our lakes, so that we don't have too much water that rises up and gets that over the fence and we have a breach of containment. We'll pull the water down, get ready for that.
And, of course, high winds. Tornadoes that get spawned by these storms. That's one of your biggest worries when you're here. Because that will tear down the buildings, tear down our fences. And then, you know, that makes a point for breach of containment with the animals. So, that's a big worry, wind and rain.
CABRERA: OK. Mark McHugh, we really appreciate you taking the time. And you brought the props as well. We always appreciate that. Stay safe, my friend.
MCHUGH: (INAUDIBLE.) Thank you for having us, and everybody be safe out there.
CABRERA: Thanks, back at you.
President Trump now says he forgives an ex-aide who spoke to reporters about his family. But did he just make a veiled threat toward her via Twitter?
And a shocking 911 call, the dispatcher lecturing a drowning woman just moments before she died. The audio is disturbing. You're live in the CNN Newsroom.
CABRERA: President Trump says he's forgiven his former assistant, Madeline Westerhout, after she was ousted for revealing intimate details about the family to reporters in an off-the-record dinner. Now, in a new tweet today, the president writes, "While Madeline Westerhout has a fully enforced confidentiality agreement, she's a very good person and I don't think there would ever be reason to use it. She called me yesterday to apologize, had a bad night. I fully understood and forgave her. I love tiffany, doing great.
He added this on NDAs. "Yes, I'm currently suing various people for violating their confidentiality agreements, disgusting and foul mouthed Omarosa is one. I gave her every break, despite the fact that she was despised by everyone and she went for some cheap money from a book. Numerous others also.
We should note that, according to legal experts, the NDAs the president had White House staffers sign are unenforceable, since they're government employees.
Joining us now, White House Correspondent for "The Atlantic," Elaina Plott, and op-ed columnist for "The New York Times," Charles Blow.
Elaina, let me start with you. For so many, this is, kind of, inside baseball. Why does Westerhout's exit matter or does it not?
ELAINA PLOTT, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It matters because -- I mean, quite literally, in terms of proximity, she was the gatekeeper for this president. So, John Kelly was somebody who came to really rely on her, when he decided he wanted to streamline access to the Oval Office.
I mean, Madeleine Westerhout was the one who, literally, determined if you got to have face time with the leader of the free world or not. So, with her gone and, you know, the depth of trust that the president had with her is gone with it. So, it -- you know, it will be interesting to see how quickly someone else can come in and maintain the rigor that she was known for establishing onto who gets to see him.
Well, another thing that I think is interesting, Ana, is these kinds of stories we would talk about all the time at the beginning of this president's tenure, right. The leaking, the -- you know, the hunt for them and the president's paranoia. This is one of the first times, in a long time, that, you know, we've had to talk about something like this.
So, I, you know, in talking to White House officials, they're, if anything, sort of, paranoid about whether the president's ire has been sparked by this so much that he goes looking for others that might be having similar off-the-record dinners with reporters. [17:15:08] CABRERA: That's interesting. Charles, when you look at
the president's tweet, he says he forgives Westerhout. But then, he mentions this NDA. Do you think that's purposeful? Is he threatening something?
CHARLES BLOW, OP-ED COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Of course he is. Of course he is. I mean, he has no -- he has no cards to play here now, right. She's out. She knows things that he would not want people to know. And has, you know, revealed some of it in that -- during that dinner.
And there was some reporting today that book publishers are already making overtures to her to write and to disclose whatever she wants to disclose. That would be -- that would be personally harmful to him. And I think he would find -- he would think that it was a -- that is he was being stabbed in the back.
So, he does not want her to talk. And that is -- in fact, it is not even a veiled threat. It's an out-in-the-public threat. And we'll have to see what she -- what she was -- how she wants to proceed. I'm not sure, like you said at the beginning, that any -- I don't -- I'm not sure he's suing anyone.
I mean, I think they just say things. I'm not sure he's suing anyone. I'm not sure that any of that -- as you said, any of those agreement, if they were signed, are enforceable. I think this is all bluster and he is trying to threaten her in public.
CABRERA: On top of Westerhout's exit, there's more bad news for the president. A new poll shows him losing to every single top Democratic competitor. President Trump has called polls fake in the past. Elaina, do you think this is just one of those that he can shrug it off or do you think it's planted some doubt?
PLOTT: Well, there's nothing new, in terms of showing that a lot of the Democratic contenders can beat Trump. And, you know, whether it's this Quinnipiac poll or whether it's a past one, even somebody from, you know, Emerson might say that it's entirely plausible to see an Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris beating Trump in a head-to-head match-up.
What's interesting about this poll, though, and why I think Trump campaign officials are taking it more seriously is that it, kind of, shows the first slide, in terms of how people view the economy right now. When you talk to Trump campaign officials, they like to tout the line that, you know, even if you don't personally like Donald Trump, you might feel better economically today than you did a few years ago. If more and more voters continue to show, as reflected by these polls, that they don't feel that way, you know, one of the central lines that this campaign is banking on, sort of, dissolves.
And it -- you know, their entire stick is promises made, promises kept. We haven't seen that with the border wall, for example. We haven't seen a trade war being won as easily as the president proclaimed that it would. So, even, you know, with the economy starting to slide and with voters continuing to have maybe, pessimism, this poll, I think, is right to send shock waves through the campaign.
CABRERA: Let's put that poll back up there, Charles. This shows Biden has the best chance to beat Trump. He has the largest margin there. But you said you don't know a single person who's genuinely excited by Biden. Do you doubt these polls?
BLOW: I don't doubt those polls. But I want to put those polls in context, right. These are national polls. Trump is not even running a national campaign in that way. He is running an electoral college campaign. And he knows that, in the same way that he lost the popular vote this on, he could lose it next time and still win. And so, I'm always cautious about the -- first of all, this far out. And also, polls that are just national polls, at this point.
We kind of had -- the people got nervous about polls. And I don't believe polls anymore. Actually, the polls were, roughly, pretty right last time. They showed Hillary Clinton winning and she actually won that popular vote. But those are national polls. It is not -- that is not how we elect the president.
So, I think they may be nervous about -- it's not never good to be in the polls and be down, be losing to every one of the candidates. That's never good. At the same time, that is not their strategy. That is -- trying to win over new people, they're -- that is not the strategy.
BLOW: They're not trying to run a 50-state campaign.
CABRERA: But yet, Biden has been trying to, in his strategy, prove that he is the most electable, when it comes to a head-to-head with President Trump and these polls, perhaps, back that up. But, if what you have said and the excitement maybe isn't there for Biden, do you think Democrats could lose, with Biden as the nominee?
BLOW: It's a -- it's an interesting question, right. So, part of what Biden has going for him is that he has the exhaustion caucus, right. These are people who are just fed up with Trump and they just want the best person to take him out. Who looks like they can win? And he does look like he can win in the early polls.
But the excitement thing is a real thing, right. So, there's two different groups of people here, of Democrats now. There are the people who see Trump and see an opportunity for fundamental change of the country, right, to do something really big and bold. And then, there's the other group of Democrats which is just people saying, I don't need to change the world. I just need this guy gone. And I'm exhausted by him.
And so, that group, though, is not really the excitement. That's not where the energy is in the Democratic Party. So, the Democrats have to figure out which one of these things -- which one of those two groups is going to win the day. And we have not seen that yet. We have to see -- I'm waiting for the first primaries and caucuses, because I need to see how voters are actually going to behave. I don't know what these polls are telling us. And I'm not exactly sure which one of those arms of the Democratic Party is going to win over.
CABRERA: And it is a good point. Still early. Charles Blow and Elaina Plot, thank you, both, for being here.
Don't forget to join CNN and a full slate of the 2020 White House hopefuls for an unprecedented town hall on the climate, on the climate crisis. That's Wednesday night, starting at 5:00 Eastern here on CNN.
Hellish fires in the Amazon are devouring the world's largest rainforest. CNN gets up close to the tribes fighting these flames and why they are working in the dead of night.
You're live in the CNN Newsroom.
[17:25:00] CABRERA: While millions along the East Coast keep an eye on Hurricane Dorian, we're also watching a disaster that's already in the making. And that's the fires tearing through the Amazon Rainforest right now. For the next two months, Brazil's president is refusing to go allow and burning for land clearing anywhere in the country. Critics believe his openness to that very practice helped lead to the Amazon emergency.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh takes us to the frontlines of the fires for a rare look at the people directly impacted by this disaster.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dusk isn't when you rest as the Amazon burns, it's when the day cools enough to give firefighters a chance. Everything we see and a bumpy hour's drive to nowhere turned to ashes in the last four days. This is how. The wall that marches across the bush and into the trees when it can.
(on camera): It feels a bit like the end of the world, doesn't it? And when flames rage like this, the firefighters actually have to pull back. And there's nothing they can do, really, until the wind dies down.
(voice-over): Destruction that overshadows an entire branch of our species here. The Tenyarim (ph) are an indigenous community, a thousand strong, who say they legally own nearly a million hectors nearby.
The next generation will have a darker future, he says. Since this president came to power, these things are happening a lot more. President Jair Bolsonaro is keen to bring what he calls progress to the Amazon, even pushing to let these areas be commercially farmed for the first time. The raging fires, all of which here have burned since he pledged to send 43,000 troops, clear land for farming, too. The sunrises again on a little bit less of this marvel. The Tenyarim (ph) didn't want to be part of our world, but now it wants part of them. All around, are signs of what's fueling the inferno, land cleared for cattle so we can eat more beef, logging and deforestation, to enable crops, like soy, to grow, line the busy roads.
The firefighters that tackle the blaze here, a three-hours drive from the nearest village. This is the land we flew over four days before, but the devastation is more final from the ground. Fires do occur naturally in the brush, like Bolsonaro says.
But it was startling how nearly every policeman, firefighter or official we spoke to said very many are caused deliberately to clear land to farm, to alleviate poverty or just make the rich richer. Yet, they don't have the water here to put the fire out, only stop its spread. Damaged limitation only with the most basic tools on the front line of this global environmental crisis.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, the Amazon, Brazil.
[17:31:54] CABRERA: Our breaking news this hour, we continue watching Hurricane Dorian, a massive category 4 storm making its way toward the southeast coast of the U.S. Right now, Dorian's track has it moving east. Its destination, uncertain.
Forecasters now say the eye of the hurricane probably won't make landfall in the U.S. But its outer bands are expected to start lashing the U.S. coast Monday night.
A tropical storm watch is now in effect for the east coast of Florida. With Dorian's latest track drifting to the east, it adds Georgia and South Carolina to its sights as well, and that's dredging up memories of catastrophic Hurricane Matthew.
CNN Meteorologist, Derek Van Dam, is in Hutchinson Island, Florida.
Is Dorian behaving a lot like Matthew did, Derek?
DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Ana, it's important for our viewers to understand that each hurricane we go out and cover has its own set of threats, its own set of variables and conditions that we report on.
If we're going to compare apples to apples, the similarity is just the track. And you got to think about where Hurricane Matthew came from. It came from the south and it ran parallel with the east coast of Florida, whereas Dorian is moving from east to west. So it's coming at us.
And we are relying on expert meteorological analysis and the computer weather data that we look at for that right turn in Dorian to take place here within the next 72 hours. We are hoping that that is going to be the case to spare the southeastern United States. But of course, we're only as good as the data that we have available to us. The data is great over the land, but not so great over the ocean. And that's what's made this particular storm so difficult, so fickle to forecast.
CABRERA: OK, Derek Van Dam, wow, what a perspective you're giving us there in that shot. Thank you for the update.
Before Dorian is expected to turn northward, it is currently on track to slam the Bahamas tomorrow morning with sustained winds of up to 150 miles per hour.
This afternoon, the Bahamas prime minister warning residents of the northern Bahamas, if they wait until tonight to seek shelter, it will be too late.
CNN's Patrick Oppmann joins us now from Freeport.
Patrick, not only is freeport in Dorian's sights, but CNN's Chad Myers says this storm could stall, sit over the Bahamas for 36 hours. Are you seeing signs of people heeding the prime minister's warning?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I've just been speaking to the government officials and they say more people than any time in recent memory appear to be evacuating and seeking shelter, going to shelters here that are more inland where they can hunker down and be safe from the storm surge, from the wind.
Because they recognize, as people who live on islands and deal with hurricanes their entire lives, unique threats of the storm. So they're taking some sense of heart to the fact that people appear to be listening, that people are moving in the hours that remain because we don't have much more time here.
So throughout the day, we have been seeing people buying water, topping off the gas tanks in their car, and doing everything they can to get ready. But the window is shutting at this point. Conditions are beginning to deteriorate in the hours and days ahead.
[17:35:13] The real concern is what you were saying, the storm stalling out over us, 140-miles-an-hour winds. There's not a lot that can withstand that.
You talk about a storm surge of 15 feet. The island where I am, one of the higher islands in the area, the highest point of land is only 30 feet. Much of this island where I am is going to be underwater in a few days.
CABRERA: Patrick Oppmann, we know you're going to continue to give us the latest update there. Thank you.
Still ahead, in Arkansas, a woman drowned in her car after calling for help in the final moments of her life, only to be met with mockery by the 911 dispatcher.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CABRERA: Breaking news, just into CNN. Officials in Odessa, Texas, say they are responding to an active shooter situation. And according to a spokesperson with the city of Odessa, there may be two shooters. One may be headed from Odessa to Midland on I-20. We're still trying to get details.
[17:40:11] CNN's Polo Sandoval is joining us with what we have learned so far -- Polo?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Only about 20 minutes ago, Ana, the Odessa Police Department took to Facebook and asked people to stay indoors, they are trying to work the shooting.
I want to go straight to some information that has been gathered by our colleague, Ed Lavandera, in Texas, where police are confirming 10 injuries, possibly up to 20 injured, rather, and one confirmed dead. One of those shot is a law enforcement officer among the injured. It's still unclear if the officer is that individual who passed away.
At this point, according to what the public information officer with the city of Odessa is telling CNN, there's a person in a gold Toyota who is, in their own words, "driving around shopping centers and shooting people from his vehicle."
This is extremely disturbing. This is on the east side of Odessa.
What we're seeing right now on Facebook is the police department telling everybody to get off the road.
Reading this post that has been posted on their social media, it is extremely disturbing. It says, "Odessa P.D. reporting this active shooting situation and saying that the suspect has hijacked U.S. mail carrier vehicle, possibly a truck. It was last seen in the area of 38th and Walnut.
This, again, on the city's east side, there in Odessa. This is going to be the region between Midland, Texas, and Odessa, Texas.
And law enforcement here essentially asking everybody, if you are on the road, get inside because of this active shooter situation that just happened a few moments ago.
Again, this is based on information coming from our colleague, Ed Lavandera, and also from what the Odessa Police Department is posting on social media.
CABRERA: And my understanding there could be more than one shooter?
SANDOVAL: Possibly. They have identified one individual they're looking for in a gold Toyota, but at this point, they have not released a whole lot of other information. I am reading here that this is apparently a gold with white accents, a
small Toyota truck with a U.S. -- or rather and a USPS postal van. That gives you now at least two vehicles that police are actively trying to track down. This Toyota, small pickup truck, and possibly a United States Postal Service van.
CABRERA: And I'm just looking at information from the Midland Police Department, from their Facebook page, saying they believe there are two shooters, perhaps in two separate vehicles.
They say that it looks like this person is driving on Loop 250 in Midland.
And again, the two vehicles in question, reiterating gold, white, small, Toyota truck, USPS postal van. This is according to Midland Police Department.
If you're just tuning in, what we know right now is multiple people are injured, at least one person is dead, according to officials with the city of Odessa.
And we will be right back. As we continue to gather more information, we'll bring that to you. Stay with us.
[17:46:35] CABRERA: We're back with breaking news in CNN. Officials in Odessa, Texas, say they are responding to an active shooter situation. And according to a spokesperson with the city of Odessa, there may be two shooters. One may be headed from Odessa to Midland, Texas, on I-20.
We're trying to get all the details. But we know at least one person is dead, and at least 10 are injured, according to the public information officer with the city of Odessa.
And we have this tweet just now from the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau saying, "We are closely monitoring the ongoing active shooter incident in Midland, Odessa, Texas."
Let's me go to CNN's James Gagliano, a retired FBI specialist, supervisory special agent.
James, when you look at what's going on, active shooter, people on the road, somebody shooting according to the officials at Midland, shooting at shoppers or shopping areas, what's going through your mind in terms of reading the situation?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST (via telephone): Well, Ana, we have become unfortunately all too familiar with this. I mean, just think in the last month, there have been three, one in Gilroy, California, another in El Paso, Texas, and a third in Dayton, Ohio. These things are extremely chaotic. They evolve very quickly.
I think the important thing here, and I think the Odessa Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety have done a great job in this, is getting the information out. We call this in law enforcement, a BOLO, a be on the lookout for. And that's the vehicle as well as the fact that was description of two shooters.
This is a very difficult situation with law enforcement. You never want a crisis site to be mobile. You want to keep it pinned down. You want to surround it, move all the civilians out of the way, tend to the wounded, handle what you need to handle, and attempt to handle negotiations or interdict the shooter or shooters.
In this situation, with one or both possibly being on the move, it makes it more difficult to do. We are in a situation where the public has to understand what the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI constantly teaching these situations. You need to run or evacuate, if you can. You need to hide if you must. Fight if you have no other alternative.
And then the fourth piece of that is you've got to contact law enforcement if you have any details of what you saw. No detail is unimportant. No detail is disposable. Law enforcement needs that information, Ana. This is a tough scene right now with a lot of moving parts.
CABRERA: You just gave so much important information, especially what people should do should they encounter somebody like this.
What do you make of the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau monitoring this active shooter reported in Texas?
GAGLIANO: Well, you know, I say this all the time, you and I have sat at this desk too many times and discussed these things. This is the new paradigm.
The paradigm is you have to look at these things not in a vacuum because sometimes these things are planned where one event happens in one place that either distracts or diverts law enforcement attention, and something else is planned somewhere else.
Also, the bad guys, whether or not they're terrorists or hate crime perpetrators, whoever they are, sometimes like to do these things in concert with other incidents. So law enforcement has to take it seriously.
Obviously, now that this is happening in Texas, law enforcement across the country at the federal, state and local level all working in concert, number one, sharing intelligence and information. Does anybody have any links to this vehicle, does anybody happen to have heard any chatter online about this. We've got to connect the dots in these things.
[17:50:16] And I think the NYPD, Ana, did the right thing in getting out in front of this and alerting the public that they're monitoring this situation. And obviously, law enforcement all across the country is going to be on high alert.
CABRERA: James Gagliano, please stand by. I want to bring in Polo Sandoval just to kind of recap what we have been learning in the last half an hour or so since the situation began.
SANDOVAL: A lot of this information is coming from the Odessa Police Department. Keep in mind, this is a region often referred to as Midland, Odessa and west Texas.
Odessa P.D. taking to their Facebook page about 30 minutes ago, confirming an active shooter situation where they believe a suspect, possibly two individuals currently driving around the region, and as they put it, randomly shooting at people at this time.
There are multiple gunshot victims that have been confirmed. Our colleague, Ed Lavender, has confirmed there have been multiple injuries and at least one death there.
And the suspect, according to Odessa P.D. apparently hijacked a USPS vehicle. It was last seen in the area of 38th and Walnut in Odessa, in that area.
It's a relatively small community. So what authorities are doing right now, as you can read there, Ana, are telling people to get off the road and seek shelter.
What you have here, very different than what we perhaps saw take place a month ago today, this is not a fixed shooting location. Investigators believe that this individual was running around randomly shooting at individuals.
So it's very difficult for authorities to get the word in one specific location. And instead, what we're seeing here, social media now, and authorities going on their social media platform, putting out this wide alert, telling people to shelter in place.
CABRERA: James, because of what Polo brought up, that this is a moving active shooter situation, and not one location, how does that complicate things?
James, can you hear me, it's Ana. Are you still with us?
OK, we don't have James Gagliano anymore.
Let's go back to Polo.
Again, we don't know if there's more than one shooter. Police believe there may be. There are two separate vehicles involved in shooting situation.
Talk to us about what we know and the injuries and number of people that may have been shot.
SANDOVAL: Absolutely. The numbers we have right now, a total of 10 confirmed injuries, at least 10 confirmed injuries at this point, but that number could potentially go up to 20 based on what our colleagues and hearing and what sources are telling CNN. We can confirm at least one dead. We do believe that a law
enforcement officer is possibly among the injured. However, we don't know if he possibly was that fatality. And as often in these situations, these are very preliminary numbers.
However, when you're getting this information coming from authorities, the situation does look extremely grim. It looks extremely serious obviously.
And we are told that this word of what's taken place right now in Texas has made it all the way to Washington right now where President Trump has already been apparently briefed on the situation that's taken place here, Ana.
It certainly speaks to the magnitude and potentially the waves that this will generate.
Just four weeks ago, you and I were sitting on the set, discussing what was taking place in El Paso, shots were just fired at that Walmart parking lot. Now here we go yet again, unfortunately, another shooting --
CABRERA: That's right.
SANDOVAL: -- in the Lone Star state, a fatal one at that.
CABRERA: Just four weeks since the last major shooting.
White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, says the president has been briefed on the situation in Midland, Texas. She says the White House is monitoring the situation.
I believe we have James Gagliano back with us.
Given that the White House has been informed, James, does that give you any idea about how serious the situation is?
GAGLIANO (via telephone): Absolutely. Ana, I cannot imagine that the Department of Homeland Security is not all over this. The fact that each of these incidents that I just mentioned, the one in California, El Paso, Texas, and Ohio, now this one, whether or not they're interlinked or not, it still shows a pattern here of these incidents that involve either one or two people.
And, Ana, I can only describe it this way, these type of situations like this where somebody takes a weapon and then randomly and indiscriminately shoots people, it's the definition of terror whether or not we can call it terrorism or not.
And I got to be careful here because police are trying to right now sort through what the motive is because that helps them in the response to it.
Is this a domestic incident? Is this workplace violence? Is this some disgruntled employee? Is this someone with mental health issues? Is this someone that was a grievance collector, that something triggered them today, and they decided to go on this shooting spree?
Was this planned? Are there coconspirators? Were the person or people that perpetrated this, were they directed, inspired? Were they aspirants to some hateful ideology or anarchy or chaos, anti- government-type of thing? All of these things, we don't know the answers yet.
[17:55:27] But these are all the things the government is looking at, going through their data bases, talking to the state and local folks in the area as well as reaching out across the country.
And, Ana, unfortunately, in the 21st century, across the globe, to connect the dots here. This has become a pandemic. It's not an epidemic.
And again, I don't want to speak or speculate as to what the root cause is behind this one is. Far too early for that.
GAGLIANO: But it seems that these types of incidents have become far too many in too short of time.
CABRERA: No doubt about it. Everybody is on high alert.
We have a new tweet I want to read you from the University of Texas, which is located in Odessa. It reads, "Falcons, law enforcement in Midland and Odessa are working to locate and contain a shooter. Please stay in your dorm or office and do not open your doors. There were initial reports that the suspect was in east Odessa. We will post here as soon as this situation is under control."
Again, if you are just tuning in, we're following a breaking news situation, an active shooter situation in Midland, Odessa, Texas. And what we know right now according to officials in the city of Odessa, at least one person is killed, at least 10 others injured.
Quick break. We'll be right back with the latest.